A September Swan Song . . . Not

While there are times I want to walk away from this blog—simply not having the time or energy to post one more <bleeping> thing—I still can’t quite bring myself to sing that final swan song.

I know, in time, I’ll be able to approach this with fresh information/ideas.  The posts will flow freely once again.  It’s just a question of time and timing.

Rey, JJ, and Linda have been an enormous help over the last while, posting on my behalf with items of interest [primarily] to them.  But without them, I’d have doffed my top hat and bowed out long ago.

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Writing is a labor of love, that’s for sure—has been for years.  The ability to write tales, weave plots, bring characters to life, like the three private eyes from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency, is sheer joy.  Of course, it doesn’t always come easily.  In fact, at times, it’s as if I have to bang my head into a wall to make something happen . . . other than the promised headache.

Editing is something else that also brings immense pleasure.  I’m not a great editor, but I’m a pretty darn good one.  I love being able to help others, to bring some life to their stories however and wherever I can.  A thank-you is never expected (and, frequently, doesn’t come), but assisting someone in bettering themselves is gratifying.  That not everyone wants the advice—the “tips”—is fine.

The point of this post?  Nothing of major note, to be honest . . . except to say thank you for following me (and the trio from the agency) . . . to let me help where/ when I can . . . to read these posts and “like” them.  I’d like to think that over the years, I’ve triggered the odd smiles or chuckles, or provoked notions or impressions.

There’ll likely be a swan song, one day—just not today.

A Song by JJ

I guess it’s time for me to provide something “creative”.  I’m not into poetry very much and I didn’t feel like writing a short story, so  . . .   I thought I’d go with a song.  Which, I suppose, isn’t very different from a poem.  But what do I know about songwriting?  <LOL> 

Of course the song I penned, Cousin Reynalda thought was too twangy, too syrupy, too croony.  She wanted something more fun and uptempo . . . and suggested I pen one about my Cash, who she calls my “sometimes boyfriend”. 

“Love’s a great theme, Cousin Jilly,” she purred.  Uh-huh, it’s a cliched and overdone one, but what the heck? 

Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Ouch!

He’s cool, like ice / And sometimes he don’t play nice. / He’s tough, like steel / That’s what gives him appeal. / That one knows he’s hot / Ain’t no one thinks he’s not.

The women like what they see / And we all have to agree / He’s way too charming / To be a true darling.

Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Ouch!

He’s cool, like ice / And sometimes he don’t play nice. / He’s tough, like steel / That’s what gives him appeal. / That one knows he’s hot / Ain’t no one thinks he’s not.

Likes to pat himself on the back / So proud of that six-pack. / Lives life on the dangerous side / Loves the thrills it provides.

Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Ouch!

He’s cool, like ice / And sometimes he don’t play nice. / He’s tough, like steel / That’s what gives him appeal. / That one knows he’s hot / Ain’t no one thinks he’s not.

That guy’s way too cool / And he ain’t anybody’s fool. / He’ll luv ya for a moment or three / Then off he’ll ride, happy to be free.

Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Ouch!

He’s cool, like ice / And sometimes he don’t play nice. / He’s tough, like steel / That’s what gives him appeal. / That one knows he’s hot / Ain’t no one thinks he’s not.

Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

. . . That was fun.  I know, I know.  Don’t give up the day job.  <LOL>

A Short Story by Linda

Rey wouldn’t let up (as is her “persistent” way, LOL) re JJ and me contributing a poem post.  I enjoy reading poetry, but not penning it.  So, I thought a short story would be a fun, creative thing to do.

The Non-Sisters

Sylvie and Sonie, only children of the same age, lived side by side in identical bungalows with small well-maintained backyards and lawns.  Picket fences lined both—one in sea-green and one in azure-blue.  Both attended the same middle school and both came from similar backgrounds; their parents had traveled from across the big pond to make “new lives in the great land of opportunity”.

While Sylvie’s were Austrian, Sonie’s were Greek.  The fathers were stoic but hard-working construction laborers.  Both drank, happily and heavily.  The mothers worked in warehouses, one packaging meat products and the other stuffing olives; whereas Sylvie’s mom was angry and self-centered, and a devoted drinker of anything over 30-proof, Sonie’s was happy and creative, and drank nothing stronger than Greek coffee.

The parents were friends, not overly close, but close enough that they dropped by for chitchats and the odd family functions.  Sylvie longed to have a mother like Sonie’s—a woman who designed dolls from apples, rags, and anything and everything at hand.  The portly woman was talented and so easy to talk to, unlike her cyclonic mother, who could prove “unpleasant” at the best of times.

The fathers died within a year of each other; Sylvie’s succumbed to kidney cancer and Sonie’s was struck by a forklift.  The mothers grew close—for a while.

In their late teens, the good friends, who’d always laughingly called themselves sisters, parted ways when Sonie moved to L.A. with her mother.  Daughter and mother had plans: to make names for themselves.  Sylvie went to university and pursued a degree in literature; she had no idea what she’d do with it, but it seemed a good thing to do.  The young ladies stayed in touch for a couple of years, but eventually moved on in their lives—to new friends and undertakings.

Sylvie loved her mother as far as she understood “love”; she was, after all, the woman who’d given birth to her.  But she didn’t like her, and she was fairly certain her mother felt the same about her.  Their tumultuous relationship did soften somewhat over the years after her father died, maybe because they lived together and realized they should make an effort to “get along”.  As time passed, Sylvie continued to live with her . . . seeing to her needs and taking care of her . . . eventually, at the cost of her own life and health.

Sonie loved her mother, worshipped her in fact, and over the years their bond only grew stronger.  They too lived together, did everything together, in fact.  They held doll exhibits, wrote and published short stories, and even produced two short films.  When Sonie’s mother died, a huge part of Sonie did, too.  She was lost.  Unable to function as an individual.  She ate . . . and ate . . . and ate.  Her health deteriorated . . . and then . . . she died.

Love—be it familial, friend-based, romantic—is a curious thing, defined and expressed in many ways.  Oddly, it can prove as harmful or detrimental as it can be encouraging or inspiring.  It can prompt pain and anguish, yet it can bring comfort and joy.  Yes, love is a very curious thing.

To be free

Like a little bee

To fly where one may

Any which way.

To soar under the sun

And just have some fun

To be little me

So cheery and free.

To sit on a flower

For even an hour

To embrace life

And ignore strife.

To be free

Like a little bee

To have no woes

And just repose.

. . . Hey, never claimed to be a poet.  But it sure was fun pretending to be one (he-he).

I think I’ll challenge Lindy-Loo and Cousin Jilly to pull on their rhymester caps.  You listening, ladies?

Doldrums Drum Roll

Now there’s a word you don’t hear to often anymore: doldrums.

For those unfamiliar with it, it refers to a period of despondency or lethargy . . . a state of inertia, sluggishness . . . unproductivity.

I’m feeling a bit unproductive these days—too much on my plate (mentally and physically).  So, it seemed worth pursuing in a post . . . again.  <LOL>

The first thing you/we should do is embrace it, acknowledge it.  Then, determine how to move on . . . even if only via a baby step or two.

Try to stick with (get back to) the daily schedule.  Sure, lying in bed with the covers pulled over your/our head is comfy-cozy, or sitting in a much-loved armchair watching TV, can help—to a degree.  But ignoring the inevitable, what’s happening, can only be done for so long.  Better to face it and take control, than letting it take the reins.

Taking a walk, or doing something “active”, helps.  Movement works wonders for crushing lethargy and getting the thought process functioning again.

Go somewhere: check out a park, stroll through a cemetery (they’re very relaxing), go to the lake,  see a new part of town, visit a museum or gallery, have lunch in an unknown café.  Being in a different environment can prove bolstering.

Make contact.  Visit a friend, chat with a coworker, or sit in a coffee shop or snack bar.  Go to the gym or the mall.  Be around people.  That human interaction, “energy”, could be just what the doctor prescribed.

How about learning something new?  Maybe go on-line and read something you normally wouldn’t . . . like boosting lethargy.  Find something that interests you, that pulls you into another realm.  Look into books, articles, blogs; the sky’s the limit.

Maybe you could volunteer somewhere?  Taking an hour or two a week to offer assistance to an organization in need is great.  This is something I’d love to do, but am unable to, given my current situation.  But the feeling of extending a hand to someone—wow.  That has to boost flagging spirits.

Eating chocolate or red-velvet cake (my favorite)—or whatever food brings you pleasure—is fine.  Enjoy something fun, something you love.  Then, get back to healthier foods, ones that fuel your body and mind.

And, on that note—big drum roll—I’m going to make myself a big, veggie-laden salad . . . to be followed by a Fry’s Turkish Delight.  Nummmmmmmmm.

Ninety-Nine Sounds Pretty Fine

Hi, it’s Linda posting today (Rey’s on an audition and JJ’s volunteering at the animal shelter).

For 99 cents, you can get a copy of Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie?, our first official (as in “paying”) case.

We’re hired to discover what the pretty, young wife of an elderly millionaire is up to—is she having an affair or into something nefarious?  Just as we settle into our new P.I. roles, we find the wife murdered–floating in the beautiful, sapphire waters of a secluded Oahu beach.

There are a sundry of suspects . . . but some of them soon become casualties themselves.  We’ve dealt with murderers in past, thanks to a wacky week in Connecticut at JJ’s weird aunt’s haunted mansion, so we’re not [that] surprised at some of the things we hear or encounter.  It’s one zany roller-coaster ride (as Rey called it), and what a thrilling one!

Here’s a chance for us to prove we made a sage decision in opening the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  Perhaps you’d like to find out how we do?  Please check us out at:

https://www.amazon.ca/Can-Hula-like-Hilo-Hattie/dp/1074454073

Tough Times

The Boss is going through a particularly tough time right now.  Hey, it’s Rey.  And Linda, hi.  And JJ, hey-ho.

Although she’s managing (just) to get through the regular responsibilities of the daily job, her mom-care tasks and obligations are taking their toll.  There are numerous issues, and they won’t be listed but, suffice it to say, it’s all proving beyond exhausting.

Her mom will be going into long-term care, but not right away—there’s a list.  The stress is pretty intense now, as is the depression.  We know she has days where she, the sole caregiver, wonders if she’ll get through it all. 

Yes, there are PSWs, but only for a total of four hours a week; given her mom won’t allow them to do one thing, save chat, having them is of little value-add.  The situation is neither comfortable nor pleasant.

A head’s up: the posts may be short(er) than usual.  Perhaps she’ll only say “hi, I’m still here” and that’ll be all, but she’ll give it everything she’s got to ensure there are Wednesday and Saturday posts.

Life is not always easy, and sometimes it seems tougher than tough to roll with the punches and go with the flow.  But, somewhere, sometime, that little light at the end of the long dark tunnel does offer a little glimmer—of hope and promise.

To all those going through tough times, hang in.  Accept the trials and tribulations as tests and lessons; they make you stronger . . . and tougher.  You can do it.

HA-HA-HA-HA . . . The First (Awesome) Review

Thank you, Jay . . . for this awesome review!

Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha by Tyler Colins

Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha is the fifth book in the Triple Threat Mysteries written by Tyler Colins. I’ve previously read the first four books, and this one is probably my favorite so far. Not quite a suspense thriller nor a cozy, it falls somewhere in the middle of the mystery genre, offering a truly quirky and eclectic cast of primary characters, and an even more diverse set of supporting ones. Between the nicknames and the murder scenes, it’s hard not to bust out laughing… but it’s also providing some pretty dark stuff about a serial killer who loves his/her black roses. The first name: Grim Reaper Peeper, or GRP for short. Run for your lives folks, this one’s out for blood.

It was quite funny, and seeing the games being played with the three lovable private eyes by this intensely weird killer made the words in the book leap off the pages. There were at least 10 unique attempts to lure the detective team into a trap, and they fell for some… yet there were so many murders happening, it became the kinda situation where I just said, “oh, another dead body.” But it works, because you’re not meant to choose between a list of suspects in this book. It’s all about the humor and the chase between the good and the bad. Who will win out?

Colins is a highly descriptive writer. Everything is meticulously covered in a way that keeps your memory sharp on who each character is, or what each location is, all about. Sometimes I get lost in the details and forget the plot point we’re trying to uncover, but in the end, it’s a relaxing and humorous approach to the traditional mystery novel. If only these amazing women, who work in Hawaii I might add, had real life counterparts. They’re even more special than Charlie’s Angels, and that’s going back a few decades in popular culture.

Hoping there will be more in the future. With the covers, we’re getting all the spectrums on the color wheel… and soon, we need to get something in all black or all white (covers, I am referring to), meaning it’s time for them to go retro. Wouldn’t that be fun?!? Either path, I’m looking forward to the potential for book six. Give this series a chance, please.

If you’re not familiar with Jay and his books (he’s written some great ones) and blog/website, please check him out here:

 https://thisismytruthnow.com/author/jamesjcudney4/

Brain Drain . . . ?

Hey, it’s Rey.  The Boss has left us high and dry this week.  So, it’s on us to put together a post.

I can’t think of a thing.  You guys?

It’s JJ, hey.  He-he.  Can’t think of anything terribly exciting . . . you, Linda?

Given this isn’t a wine-review blog, I’d have to say no.  I’ve got brain fatigue this week.

More like brain drain.  It’s Rey again, hey.  We-ell, that puts us in a bit of a bind.  I say, let’s give a quick synopsis of our five cases—

Four.

Don’t be picky, Lindy-Loo.  Connecticut wasn’t an official case, but it did give us the idea to become private eyes.

You decided that.

Funny, you two . . . not.  I simply put the idea out there.  And you two agreed.

Not initially.

Did too, Cousin Jilly!  Did too!

LOL.  Okay, did too . . . but not really.  Anyway, Cousin Reynalda, honeybun, why don’t you give our friends a quick rundown of our five “cases”?

Love to!

The Connecticut Corpse Caper

This has the three of us gathering for a week-long stay at wacky Aunt Mat’s haunted mansion (guess where it’s located?).  There’s a sizable inheritance to be collected by those who manage to stay to the end.  Those that decide to leave early—maybe not by choice—must give up their share.  Bodies start to drop and the suspect list grows.  Add to that a resident ghost, dark and dank passageways, and weird sounds behind walls, and you’ve got one heckuva mystery.

Can You Hula Like Hula Hattie?

The three of us have moved to Oahu and opened the Triple Threat Investigation Agency.  Our first paying case has us trying to discover the “secret” of the young and pretty wife of an elderly millionaire.  Sadly, she dies before we get too far.  Several persons seem to have wanted her dead so we have our hands full figuring out who the murderer is.  As luck would have it, a few more bodies turn up—and the perp list grows.

Coco’s Nuts

Buddy Feuer’s a gorgeous former socialite turned truck driver who’s been set up to take the fall for two murders.  We don’t believe she’s guilty, no matter what the police believe and the evidence suggests.  There’s one oddball character, Coco Petersen, who appears to be the key to solving this puzzler, but he’s disappeared.  We have our P.I. work cut out for us!

Forever Poi

Who torched two Chinatown art galleries and left two charred bodies in the rubble?  That’s what we have to figure out.  Are the arsonist and killer the same person?  We think so and there is no end of possible perps.  The day before the fire, Carlos Kawena, one of the arson victims, had an “ugly break-up” with his partner, James-Henri Ossature.  There were financial issues, too.  Could James-Henri have done the dastardly deed to collect insurance and be rid of his lover?  What about the second victim, Mary-Louise Crabtree, a former queenpin?  Given her sketchy past, might some former foe have murdered her?  If so, was Carlos merely collateral damage?  It’s a head-scratcher . . . but we do so love those.

HA-HA-HA-HA (or Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha if you’re on Amazon)

This case finds us on a serial killer’s “buddy” list.  When he’s not taunting us, he’s challenging us to “play the game”—by his rules.  The GrimReaperPeeper, as he introduced himself not long after we solved the art-gallery case, proves to be as intelligent as he is devious and dangerous.  GRP, as we prefer to call him, leaves a lot of calling cards . . . and victims.  DNA and fingerprints are never found; the guy’s good, unfortunately.  But we’re not bad, either.  <wink, wink>

So, maybe not that much of a brain drain.  Maybe we’ve been relaxin’ a bit too much on the beach of late.  <he-he>

Tootin’ Our Horns

You’ve got all three of us today—JJ, Rey, and Linda.  The Boss is OOO.

The three of us had a row, determining what to post about—something about Hawaii, editing/writing, or us (like Rey wanting to sound off about her few days in Cali and the <bleep> who led her on).  We couldn’t agree.  At all.  It wasn’t just tense, it leaned toward nasty.  So, there we were, tootin’ our horns—in loud, strident ways!

Then, it hit us, rather like a toppling palm frond during a tropical storm.  Why not post about . . . getting along?  He-he.

We agreed that the main thing to getting along is to listen.  With all the disagreeing and yammering, not one of us could hear what the other was saying.  So, pay attention; make an effort to grasp what’s being said, and appreciate it for what it is.   And, if you’re going to comment, don’t condemn or criticize.  Be subjectively objective.

Part of that not condemning or criticizing is keeping an open mind: know/learn all the facts.  Discuss but don’t dispute.  Agree to disagree—in that subjectively objective way.

Be optimistic or upbeat.  Negativity or pessimism can depress/stress others . . . push them away.  The air will be thick and tense, so the general environment will be far from pleasant or productive.

Of course, there’ll be times when feelings/moods can’t be bolstered.  Don’t be afraid to share why; be honest.  You may be surprised at the support you receive.  Accept it graciously and gratefully.

Be polite.  When the three of us get to arguing, we’re focused solely on ourselves.  We could care less what the other is saying (yelling).  It’s selfish.  Give room to others to voice what’s on their minds.  There may be some common ground there, which will allow the “conversation” to progress on a more positive note.  And if there isn’t, then discuss why your views or approaches (whatever the action or situation is) are different—and why that is a good thing.  Being different and having varying views—to use a couple of cliches—make the world go around and add spice to life.

Not an intensively edifying post, but some food for thought (another overused phrase, but appropriate).  On that ending note, we’re going to the mall; there’s a great sale going on, something Rey so enjoys.

Have an awesome Saturday . . . and give someone you don’t know a huge smile!